HOPES of finding a forgotten squadron of Second World War Spitfires, originally designed and built in Southampton, have been dashed.

As previously reported, the lost Spitfires, entombed in boxes, were said to have been buried at various allied bases on the orders of the British high command at the end of the war in South East Asia.

Aviation enthusiasts have spent the past 15 years searching Burma, now known as Myanmar, for the buried Spitfires.

But the latest attempt has been called off as the international team admitted it had found no trace of the iconic aircraft.

Today only a handful of Spitfires, worth anything up to £2m each, remain in flying condition.

The project was privately run and funded but Prime Minister David Cameron had secured a deal to carry out the search during a visit to the secretive authoritarian state.

However, military historian Peter Arnold, who was accompanying the expedition, is expected to travel to examine another possible burial site.